Centre for Environment and Sustainability

Global graduate award in sustainability

What is the Global Graduate Award?

The University of Surrey’s Global Graduate Award (GGA) in Sustainability will give you an understanding of wide-ranging issues affecting the sustainability of our world. These include biodiversity, climate change, energy production and corporate environmental management.

Why GGA?

Surrey’s GGA aims to improve your employability on the global market.

Who can take the GGA?

The GGA is free for all students at Surrey.

Do I receive credits for Surrey’s GGA?

If you’re an undergraduate, you’ll be awarded 15 credits per course on successful completion. While these credits don’t count towards your degree, they will be recorded on your transcript.

If you’re a postgraduate, you won’t receive credits for taking the GGA but you’ll receive a certificate of attendance listing your achieved grade upon successful completion of the course.

If you’re an Erasmus/occasional student who can only stay for the first semester, you’ll receive an attendance certificate. The module will not appear on your transcript.

Registration for 2017/8 has now closed.

Terms and conditions

PDF icon Check our Terms and Conditions.pdf

Enrol on the course

Go to our Global Graduate Award log in section to sign up.

Contact us

If you have any questions then please email us.

Course information

Surrey’s Global Graduate Award (GGA) in Sustainability is delivered by specialists from the University of Surrey and beyond.

The GGA centres around the three core pillars of sustainability:

  • Environmental issues
  • Economic issues
  • Social issues
Environmental issues include climate change and biodiversity loss as well as resource management for energy, food and water provision.

Economic aspects include discussion of taxes, subsidies, economic growth, corporate social responsibility and supply chain management.

Social matters span inequalities, the sociology and psychology of sustainability, environmental law and sustainable tourism.

All topics will be illustrated with a case study family.

When does registration open?

Registration for 2017/18 academic year has now closed.

When do classes take place?

Classes take place on Wednesday afternoons 13:00-14:30.

How will I be taught?

There are 16 lecture/discussion sessions, each lasting 1½ hours, and three sessions in which films will be shown and discussed. You’ll have a further two sessions devoted to group work.

How will I be assessed?

  • 70 per cent individual assignment
  • 30 per cent group video

The individual assignment will be your chance to apply the sustainability concepts that you have learnt about to a case study family.

The group report will give you an opportunity to critique an appropriate film.

What’s expected of me?

  • Attend lecture and film sessions
  • Actively take part in discussions
  • Complete both assignments
  • Set aside independent study time outside contact hours.

Information for students

The Global Graduate Award (GGA) in Sustainability module is available to all students of the University - undergraduate, postgraduate and exchange students.  While you'll all be attending classes together and are required to complete the same tasks in order to complete the module successfully, there are some differences, explained in more detail below.

Undergraduate students

If you are an undergraduate student, you can take a different GGA module every year. For each GGA module that you complete successfully, you will receive 15 co-curricular credits, the same number of credits as for any other undergraduate degree module. The final mark will be recorded on your transcript, but the credits will not count towards your degree or your degree classification.

Postgraduate students

If you are a postgraduate student, you will receive a certificate, detailing your final mark. You will not receive co-curricular credits, and the module will not appear on your transcript.

Erasmus/exchange students

If you are an exchange student (eg, Erasmus, occasional student, etc) enrolled as an undergraduate student, and you are here for two semesters, you can take a GGA module for co-curricular credits.  

For more information, please see the following file:

Frequently asked questions

How many modules can I take each year?

You can take one Global Graduate Award (GGA) module per year.

Is the GGA in Sustainability open to postgraduate students?

The GGA in Sustainability is open to postgraduate students, but it’s not credit-bearing. You’re expected to complete assignments, and will receive a certificate listing your grade on successful completion of the module.

My application is ‘pending’. What does that mean?

A ‘pending’ application either means that we have not yet had a chance to process your application, or the class is full and you’ve been placed on the waiting list. (If you don’t want to remain on the waiting list, please cancel your application).

I applied several days ago. Why have I not heard from you?

Please be patient, we’ve probably not been able to process your application yet.

I don’t yet have my timetable/URN. Can I still apply?

Please wait for your timetable. There’s usually no undergraduate teaching on Wednesdays from 12 noon, but please check with your School/Department whether any other activity (eg, lab sessions) are planned.

What happens if I don’t pass the module?

If you’re an undergraduate student, you’ll be registered for the module on SITS (the University’s registration system). You’re registered so that your results are recorded on your transcript at the end of the academic year. If you fail the module, the fail mark will be recorded on your transcript.

If you’re a postgraduate student, you’ll only receive a certificate upon successful completion of the course.

I’m no longer free for the class. What should I do?

You can cancel your booking up until the registration closing date. If you’re an undergraduate student and fail to withdraw by then, the GGA module will remain on your transcript and a fail mark will be recorded.

If you have a timetable clash in Semester 2, you’ll be withdrawn from the course, and no record of the course will appear on your transcript.

How many hours of independent study should I set aside for the GGA?

You should dedicate at least three hours a week to completing assignments and independent study.

How do I register?

You can register online. For more information contact gga.sustainability@surrey.ac.uk.